Posts Tagged ‘ Folic Acid ’

Is Your Pregnancy Diet Lacking THIS?!

Monday, May 26th, 2014

When it comes to a pregnancy diet, you probably think about eating clean, organic foods, drinking milk, and taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid. You probably don’t think about needing more iodine in your diet, right? Well, it turns out you should!

New research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that one-third of pregnant women in the United States have an iodine deficiency, and iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones—which control your metabolism and play an integral part in your baby’s all-important brain development. One theory for the lack of iodine in women’s diets is that processed foods don’t use iodized salts, and Americans as a whole are eating much more processed food than we once did.

And even though in the U.S. pregnant women often take prenatal vitamins, only 15 to 20 percent take ones that contain any iodine (in the form of potassium iodide), and many of those that do contain iodide don’t contain the 150 mg suggested by the National Academy of Sciences. The recommendation for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms is the same—a daily supplement that includes at least 150 mg of iodine and use of iodized table salt for a combined intake of between 290 and 1100 mg of iodide per day.

You can naturally add iodine into your diet by eating things like seafood or low-fat yogurt. And in the U.S. most table salt is fortified (a practice that started in 1924 to help end iodide deficiencies), so it’s an excellent source for iodine with ¼ teaspoon providing about 47 percent of your necessary daily intake.

So it’s relatively easy to add what you need into your diet to give your baby the best chances of being a brainiac—but like everything else, consult your doctor about your individual needs, especially before taking any supplement!

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: What
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: What
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: What "Eating for Two" Really Means

Image of pregnant woman eating yogurt courtesy of Shutterstock.

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What One Mom Said to Insult ALL Pregnant Women

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Oh no, she didn’t! Yes, she did! Australian blogger Loni Jane Anthony, who made news for going on an extreme diet that consisted almost exclusively of fruit, has opened her big mouth again, and this time she’s managed to insult pregnant women everywhere! After she displayed what many critics considered to be an eating disorder while pregnant, often called pregorexia, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces (thank God!). So, of course, outspoken Loni is now saying she is “living proof you don’t have to become a whale while you’re pregnant.” Exqueeze me!

I think I speak for any woman who has ever been pregnant when I say, “How dare you?” When you’re pregnant you are no longer in control of the shape of your body. Yes, it’s smart to watch what you eat when you’re pregnant, and too much overindulgence in those out-of-control pregnancy cravings can be bad news (leading to bigger, heavier babies, which equals a harder labor for you, and possible obesity in your kid’s future). But enough of the fat shaming! It’s bad enough when it comes from the media. I don’t think women should be doing it to each other!

I also don’t think most women want to hear the criticism from Loni, whose radical fruit diet sounds a little nuts. She admitted to eating mostly bananas (up to 20 a day!), drinking fruit smoothies and occasionally pairing it with a salad for dinner. Mom to new son Rowdy, Loni says, “You don’t have to put on heaps of weight and never bounce back—you can stay really healthy.” She gained about 37 pounds while pregnant, and says she lost 22 pounds within days of giving birth. Loni says her son is the picture of health—”feeding like a machine,” “sleeping,” and “happy.” She also says she’s making plenty of breast milk, so that her diet is completely fine.

While I completely believe you can be a healthy vegetarian or vegan with a bun in the oven, I still wouldn’t advise any other mom-to-be to follow Loni’s lead with her extreme dieting. The Mayo Clinic says the diet of a pregnant woman should consist of nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and iron, which can be obtained through the consumption of foods such as spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils, and poultry. It is suggested that pregnant women have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Since Loni’s diet is short in protein—which helps with growth and repair of tissues—and several essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and zinc, it can lead to the baby taking calcium from her bones and leaving Loni susceptible to osteoporosis later in life.

According to the New York Daily News, Loni says, “I’m consuming more good fats because I’m breastfeeding, but other than that, I’m eating the same.” And she plans to raise son Rowdy with the same diet. “I’m thriving on a plant-based diet, so why wouldn’t (my baby)? If I believe that the way I eat is the best way possible, then why would I let him eat any other way?”

TELL US: Do you think Loni’s diet is healthy for her and her son?

What is your ideal pregnancy weight? Click to find out.

Image of Loni Jane Anthony and son Rowdy via Instagram.

Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt

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Obese Dads Could Raise Baby’s Autism Risk

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

While a mom’s weight before and during pregnancy is often a hot topic (we worry about eating enough of the right things and as few of the bad things as possible), we often forget that it takes two (at least) to make a baby. So how much does the dad’s health and DNA contribute to your baby bundle? Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that obese fathers up the risk of autism in their children more so than obese moms. That’s right—the dad-to-be’s weight seems to be more of a contributing factor than the mom-to-be’s!

They studied nearly 93,000 Norwegian children at three, five and seven. The mothers answered detailed questions about their own—and their children’s—mental and physical health, while the dads completed a questionnaire about their mental and physical health while their partners were pregnant. The researchers also collected data from the Norwegian Patient Registry and from studies of children who were referred for evaluation and treatment of possible autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

The researchers adjusted for variables that may also be associated with the development of autism in the child. In addition to adjusting for maternal obesity, they considered education, age, smoking, mental disorders, hormone therapy before pregnancy, use of folic acid, maternal diabetes, preeclampsia and the baby’s weight at birth. The researchers found that the risk remained unchanged when adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors.

The findings say that maternal obesity has little association with the development of autism in the child. However, they found a doubled risk for development of autism and Asperger’s syndrome in the child if the father was obese, compared with a normal weight father. (But note, the odds are small: just under 0.3 percent of kids with obese dads were diagnosed with autism, versus 0.14 percent of kids with fathers at healthy weights.)

Doctors still don’t know why a father’s obesity could cause a higher rate of autism in his kids. There could be an indirect association with certain gene variations, or obese men might be more likely to have certain environmental exposures that contribute to autism. But there also might be a direct tie, like the extra weight might actually alter sperm quality, leading to malformations that would cause autism. More research needs to be done on the subject to find a definite cause and effect, but all signs point to the fact that both mom and dad’s health contribute to whether you’ll have a healthy baby. So if you’re trying to get pregnant, set a standing date for a couple’s workout!

TELL US: Are you surprised to hear that a dad’s weight could raise his baby’s autism risk?

How much do you know about toddler nutrition? Put your IQ to the test.

Early Signs of Autism
Early Signs of Autism
Early Signs of Autism

Image of man’s belly courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

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UK is Adding WHAT to Food to Prevent Birth Defects?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

If you’ve been preparing to get pregnant or are pregnant, chances are you have been beat over the head by doctors, books, and even this blog with the importance of folic acid to your baby’s development. And with good reason! Taking folic acid, a B9 vitamin, can prevent spina bifida and other birth defects affecting the brain, spine or spinal cord. Even though it is so important, a new study out of England that looked at 500,000 women, showed that only about one-third of women who had babies actually took folic acid supplements before getting pregnant. So in an effort to prevent babies from developing these sorts of birth defects, England’s government is close to making it mandatory for all food manufacturers to add folic acid to white bread. This effort could prevent an estimated 300 babies per year from developing spina bifida and other birth defects.

While saving babies of course sounds like a good thing, there’s still debate about fortifying flour with folic acid because it could lead to what some are calling “mass medicating,” and there is evidence that even though adding folic acid would be helping pregnant women and their babies, it could be harmful to others. It may mask a vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly, which can seriously damage the nervous system, and it may be linked to bowel cancer.

Though it is not yet a done deal, health minister Earl Howe has hinted that the government will be making flour fortification mandatory. On average in England and Wales there are 13 pregnancies terminated every week due to neural tube defects and three live births with spina bifida and other conditions, two thirds of which tragedies could be avoided by fortification, which the US has been doing since 1998 (who knew?).

TELL US: Do you think the UK’s government should step in and add folic acid to bread to prevent birth defects even if it puts other people’s health at risk?

 

Life with Spina Bifida
Life with Spina Bifida
Life with Spina Bifida

Image of bread, wheat and flour courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Try This Pregnancy-Safe Sushi Recipe

Friday, February 28th, 2014

One of pregnant women’s major food cravings is always sushi! Even though there is evidence that having sushi during pregnancy is safer than you think—and that eating fish while pregnant actually helps lower anxiety—so many pregnant women still don’t want to risk it (no pressure, ladies!). So, in honor of Foodie Friday, here is a fish-free alternative from the creative chefs at SUSHISAMBA that will satisfy your sushi pregnancy cravings while packing in tons of potassium, fiber, magnesium, iron, B-6 (with all-important folic acids), vitamin A, and protein.

Yasai Temaki Recipe
serves 1 (but can be multiplied to make larger batches)

Ingredients:
2 pieces sweet potato tempura (approximately 1.4 oz.)
0.1 oz. sweet soy (bottled)
2 slices avocado, ripe/freshly sliced (approximately 0.7 oz.)
2 pieces pea shoot
1.2 oz. red quinoa, cooked
.5” soy paper (half cut)
tempura batter

Quinoa ingredients:
1 cup red quinoa (100% organic)
2 cups water

Method: Heat water with quinoa in a medium sized pan. Cover and keep heat on high until water is boiling, then turn heat to medium until water is absorbed. Total boiling time is roughly 15 minutes.

Temaki preparation:
Step 1: Prepare sweet potato tempura
Slice sweet potato in half lengthwise. Lightly coat in tempura batter and cook (as per instructions on tempura batter box). Then, slice the sweet potato into fries (1 fry equals 1 piece).

Step 2: Prepare avocado
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and twist the two halves until they separate. Cut the half into quarters. Cut off the ends, remove the skin and slice lengthwise into ¼ inch slices. Set the slices aside.

Tip: You can include whatever vegetables you like—scallion, carrot, zucchini, radish —to customize your temaki to your own personal taste.

Step 3: Prepare the soy paper
Tear or cut the soy paper sheets in half. Hold a ½ sheet of soy paper with one side down in the palm of one hand.

Step 4: Press quinoa into soy paper
Moisten your other hand with a little water and ball up the 1.2 oz. of prepared quinoa. Press it into the left side of the soy paper.

Step 5: Add filling
Lay vegetable filling alongside quinoa.

Step 6: Wrap into cone
Tightly wrap the opposite right-hand edge around, using a folding and tucking method to create a cone shape with the filling on the inside.

Step 7: Secure edge
Use a dab of quinoa on the corner to secure the inside edge of the soy paper to the outside of the cone.

Step 8: Place on plate, garnish, and enjoy!

SUSHISAMBA has locations in London, Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago, Coral Gables, and Miami.

How well do you know your favorite celebrity’s pregnancy cravings? Find out here!

TELL US: What is your biggest pregnancy craving? Are you eating fish and sushi while pregnant? Why or why not?

Image courtesy of SUSHISAMBA.

 

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